Day 4 - June 11
We had to get up really early for the Hot Air Balloon session with Ballooning.es as the meeting time was 6.15am at the Plaza Catalunya area! You can see how tired Sheryl was:
Unfortunately for us, while we arrived on time, we realized that we had left Sheryl’s DSLR’s SD card back at the lodging place, and I had only brought my prime lens out. Even worse, my SD card didn’t work in her camera for some reason :(. In other words, all we had was the GoPro and our phones’ cameras, and my trusty camera (but with just prime lens it wouldn’t be well suited for the hot air balloon). Not going to let this dampen our spirits!
Josep from Ballooning.es soon arrived to pick us up. Along the way, we stopped at a cafe for a short break.
Other than us, there was another couple from Singapore! Anyway, we continued to the Hot Air Balloon take off point after about 15 minutes…
If a picture speaks a thousand words, then a video…
It was an amazing experience for me! Sheryl had previously tried a Hot Air Balloon in Melbourne, Australia, but it was my first time on one. Needless to say, we took way too many photos and videos while on it (GoPro is really handy!), and here are the ones I think are the most memorable:
For example, we ate on the hot air balloon :P.
At one point, we approached a tree and it felt a little too close to us!
After about an hour, it was time to descent. The landing was really rough, it felt like an amusement park ride :P. Sheryl tried recording it but it seems that the GoPro got stopped accidentally as we landed :(. Most of us then got involved with the packing of the Hot Air Balloon, and it’s really tiring!
Once the packing was done, it was time to relax!
On the way back to our actual vehicle (this is the one they used for transporting the Hot Air Balloon and also for the rougher terrain). Also, these are the other 2 Singaporeans I was talking about!
Upon arriving at the location of our main vehicle, the Ballooning.es crew did this:
Basically, they used the flames from the Hot Air Balloon to make toasted bread with melted cheese and ham! Also, they had wine ready! It was a really nice gesture from them, and everyone had a good time hanging out over toasted bread and wine! They then proceed to present us with our certificates :D.
Shot of us with the Ballooning.es crew!
After that, the Ballooning.es crew sent us back to Barcelona. We initially wanted to go for Runner Bean’s Old City Tour (which we had wanted to go since Day 1 and ended up on the Gaudi Tour by mistake), but we were too late. The tour starts around 11am but we only arrived about 11.45am.
We decided to spend the free time exploring La Rambla instead. It’s been quite a packed trip so far, so it was very relaxing to have nothing planned for a break.
Sheryl with her newly-bought touristy bag :P_
Remember in one of the earlier posts I was saying that things always work out, or turn out better? We were a little disappointed that we missed the Old City tour (again), and we won’t have a chance within this trip to do it again as we’ve to leave Barcelona early the next day. As we were exploring La Rambla, we felt happy and forgot about missing the Old City tour, but best of all, after lots of walking, we saw this:
Sheryl’s smile says it all! We have read about the Renault Twizy and have been talking about how great it’d be if we got to try it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t available in Singapore. Fortunately, there was a road show right in Barcelona, and when we presented our driving licenses, we were allowed to test drive it! None of this would have happened if we had made it for the Old City tour.
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~Dalai Lama
For the test drive, we were asked to follow the car in front of us (basically there’s a main car right at the front of it (I can’t remember the word to use at the moment :X), so it’s like a train of Twizys! Also, we were going onto the main road! Sheryl and I each had one vehicle :D. I had the GoPro with me, so I tried recording a part of it (the GoPro went flat while recording):
After that, we decided it was time to head back to our lodging for a break by walking back via the La Rambla:
We rested for about an hour or so before heading out to our next stop, the Sagrada Familia! We had booked the tickets for 3pm :D.
The Sagrada Familia is beautiful, and being a fan of the outdoors and nature, we could not believe that architecture can take our breath away the same way, until we went to Montserrat, and now, Sagrada Familia. The detail everywhere is hard to believe, hard to absorb. Whether you are a religious person or not, I think the place humbles you.
I believe there are already a lot of photos of the Sagrada Familia on the internet, and here’s our addition :P:
Yay! A shot of us together <3!
As I mentioned earlier, we had a really, really packed itinerary for Barcelona! We left the Sagrada Familia at about 6pm and headed back to the lodging to rest. Believe it or not, we had another activity at 9pm, the The Dark Past night walk with Runner Bean.
The meetup point was at the Arc de Triomf, which was about a 20 min walk from our lodging. We arrived early and grabbed some tapas (which was not good :() and then spent some time at the park…
What is Sheryl doing?
She actually managed to create a tiny bubble in the large bubble!
We then met up with our guide, Gorka, from Runner Bean, and proceeded with the night walk…
Gorka was an excellent guide and very enthusiastic when talking about anything! He was very knowledgeable and shared with us a lot of Spanish history, in particular lots of stories around the Spanish Inquisition.
If a place has this outside, it means that it was a brothel. Sailors from different countries may not always be able to understand the local language and this was a symbol so that everyone could understand it.
To be honest, I think I packed too much into this day, and both Sheryl and I were so tired by the end of the night tour that we just wanted to head back to the lodging and sleep! Just today, Sheryl was telling me that this day was the most tired she has ever felt in her life, haha :X. Gorka was really good and kept us engaged throughout the tour with his stories, and I think we just forgot to take photos for most of the night tour :(. Nonetheless, it was a good way to end our Barcelona part of the Spain trip, and we felt a little sad that we had to leave this lovely city the next morning.
That’s all for day 4! The next part will cover our departure from Barcelona… and also our next stop, Cordoba!
Other parts in this series:
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 1 - June 8 to June 22
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 2 - Barcelona Day 1-2
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 3 - Barcelona Day 3
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 5 - Barcelona Day 5, Cordoba Day 1
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 6 - Cordoba Day 2, Seville Day 1
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 7 - Seville Day 2
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 8 - Granada Day 1
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 9 - Granada Day 2
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 10 - Madrid Day 1
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 11 - Madrid Day 2
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 12 - Madrid Day 3
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 13 - Toledo Day Trip
- Travel: Spain 2014 | Part 14 - Last Day in Spain